Race With Ryan
Start Your Engines!
If you were like me and didn't know who "Ryan," the titular character in Race With Ryan was, then you wouldn't be alone. The young YouTube personality is the star of his own channel titled Ryan's World, a channel that is still going strong with daily content. As of this writing, the channel has well over 30 million subscribers and as one of the largest names on the platform, games based on his IP were imminent. Thus, Race With Ryan would be one of the first games based on the YouTuber, and what better company to capitalize on this than Outright Games.
Those who have read from us for a while will immediately know the magic that is "The OG" as I like to call them. Publishing games that are nothing short of remarkable, they struck early gold with this earnest Kart Racer. Ryan and his friends race across various locations based on both real and fictional locations. From a city fair to the wild west, everything included is meant to give the player a mystifying sense of adventure. Does this little racer fly off the track three years later?
"I'm the Pizza King!"
Younger drivers who are unsure of what to do will be content knowing they have a friend in Ryan, guiding them every step of the way. Each and every menu item is narrated by the top boss himself, letting you know what a "Quick Race" is to the various "Option" selections. Axle City Racers, a future "kart style" racer that 3DClouds would develop, would have similar narrations. Sorry Mr. Monster Truck, the little guy Ryan did it first.
3DClouds is a developer I've discussed before in detail as well, praising them for their work on Xenon Racer. Despite an abysmal Switch port, the PC version was a futuristic love letter to other arcade-style games at the time. Race With Ryan is a similar ode to Mario Kart like Xenon Racer is to Ridge Racer. Ryan slams Mario to the ground face-first in some aspects, doing certain things right over his mustached plumber's counterpart.
Race With Ryan's Graphics Are A Childlike Marvel
Let's talk about the visuals, as it's one of the game's strongest points. There is never a dull color or bland moment in Race with Ryan's visualization as an assortment of colors is always within reach. No matter where the racing action is, everything stands out as bright and lucid as a coloring book. Racing in a supermarket had never felt as exciting as it did in Race with Ryan with bouncing balls, sliding doors, and all kinds of hazards thrown your way. What's a Coconut Mall? Oh, that course that got remade in Mario Kart 8 from MK Wii? Yeah, Ryan pulled that off better.
There are several characters to select from, including Ryan, the alligator Gus, penguin Peck, and others. Each character has a variant that represents real-life cars. These range from service vehicles like police cars and garbage trucks, to recreational vehicles like coupes and sports cars. Fantasy vehicles like UFOs are also included, the majority of which are unlockable. You hear that, Chocobo GP? You don't need silly tickets or Battle Passes to unlock fan-favorite characters. Almost everything you earn in Race With Ryan are through sheer hard work and playing through the game.
Ryan's Driving Is Better Than Most Adults On A Good Day
Race With Ryan is easy to pick up and play as it hits all of the necessary notes of a kart racer. Using a starting boost? Check. Drifting to gain enough of a boost needed to jolt into first place? Also, check. The AI drivers may appear weak, hitting the same wall in a group every single lap, but what if they knew something the player didn't? What if, regardless of the chosen difficulty, the AI deliberately costs themselves the race because they are intimidated by the player's Race With Ryan expertise? It's not bad AI pathing, it's the AI giving the player their respect. By the way, the difficulties only increase the speed of the karts and nothing more. The AI will continue to behave in Hard difficulty as they would in Easy difficulty, but think of it as 50cc, 100cc, and 150cc respectively.
Like Mario Kart, rewards are tied to the specific difficulty the player finishes each cup. That means if a reward specifically says "Win Formula Fruit Cup (Medium)" and you win it in Hard mode, you won't get the "Medium" difficulty prize. Race With Ryan teaches its youth to follow directions! Don't overachieve if you don't have to! That's how society sometimes takes advantage of others! Sometimes, doing the bare minimum is enough to satisfy others. We at 1UP Infinite always strive to give our readers the golden standard, so, this doesn't apply to us. But if the shoes fit...
There's No Better Modern Kart Racer Better Than Racing With Ryan
Some will moan that the game is too short, too easy, and the cutscenes are too common. Winning each race gives a "post-race" cutscene showing each of the rival racers displeased with their performance. Each introduction to a cup shows Ryan's family delivering quirky one-liners relating to the upcoming cup. Ryan will occasionally cut-in the race on the bottom right corner whenever something happens. All this does is give Ryan the charm and personality you won't find in other games.
You don't see Crash popping up in the corner of the screen going "WOAH!" whenever the player gets hit right? Well, if they ever make a "Nitro Fueled 2," they should! Lakitu should absolutely pop up on the screen whenever something amazing happens and NOT just appear to save your sorry butt when you fall off Banshee Boardwalk for the tenth time this lap. All I'm saying is that Race With Ryan may very well be the bar that's set for future kart racers out there. Nintendo? Activision Blizzard? It's your move.
Race With Ryan gets two Hot Dog Cups out of an impatient Ryan cut-in, reminding you to use your "Magic Items." Ryan is available on PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and PC.